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rugged intellect the introduction

Rugged Intellect: The Introduction

4.4 Stars (20 customer reviews)
Price: $12.99
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    Product Details


    Expertism Music Group is proud to announce the release of RUGGED INTELLECT's debut LP, entitled "Renaissance Music: The Introduction." The hottest newcomer in the industry, RUGGED INTELLECT's lyricism is compared to Rakim and Big Punisher, an easy and accurate comparison. Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Rugged's multi-lingualism combined with his multisyllabic, relentless rhyme schemes position him as a unique voice in the hip-hop industry. Production is handled by Domingo, Buckwild (DITC), Memo (Molemen), Montreal's Apokalyptik and Executive Producer Adam Sampler. The album was given 3.5 MICS in THE SOURCE MAGAZINE (May 2007), quite an accomplishment for a new artist with no major label backing!

    Track Listing

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    1. Introduction
    2. It Is What It Is
    Click to listen!
    3. Say Goodbye
    Click to listen!
    4. Guaranteed
    featuring Rock (of Heltah Skeltah)
    Click to listen!
    5. Biter's Block
    Click to listen!
    6. DBA
    featuring R.A. The Rugged Man
    Click to listen!
    7. Gonna Move
    Click to listen!
    8. Life I Love
    Click to listen!
    9. All Fair
    featuring Kool G Rap
    Click to listen!
    10. By Any Means
    Click to listen!
    11. Break 'Em Off
    Click to listen!
    12. Next Dose
    featuring Ras Kass
    Click to listen!
    13. Interlude
    14. Real Recognize Real
    Click to listen!
    15. Like That
    featuring A.G. (of D.I.T.C.)
    Click to listen!
    16. Truth And Consequences
    Click to listen!
    17. Biters Block (Remix)
    Click to listen!
    18. Say Goodbye (Remix)
    featuring Sean Price; Party Arty; Rustee Juxx; Solomon Childs
    Click to listen!

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    Average Visitor Rating:
    4.4 Stars (4.4 Stars )
    Total Comments: 20
    4 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 3/31/2015 6:29:00 PM; Partial IP: .98.71.220)
    Location: music specialist gave head
    Comment: Everyone gave this a good review expect for Music Specialist; obviously you're not that much of a specialist if you missed this one. Must have been listening to something else, or you don't like hip hop because your review is unprofessional.
    5 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 6/28/2013 5:22:00 PM; Partial IP: .201.65.74)
    Location: az/ hell
    Comment: Don't sleep on this... Straight gutta hip hop!!
    Name: (Posted: 6/11/2012 8:27:00 AM; Partial IP: 38.245.247)
    Location: LA,CA
    Comment: music specialist- nice review for an ass clown who lives in his moms basement. enjoy the next Hillary Duff record when your blowing your boyfriend.
    5 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 6/11/2012 8:22:00 AM; Partial IP: 38.245.247)
    Location: Los Angeles
    Comment: Rug - call me/email me
    4 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 2/19/2012 3:56:00 PM; Partial IP:
    Location: BKNY
    Comment: Album is dope but what's up with some new material? Is this in jail for real?
    5 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 11/19/2011 4:46:00 PM; Partial IP: 202.56.160)
    Location: Pittsburgh, PA
    Comment: I heard homeboy is in jail for 10 years
    5 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 10/21/2011 12:33:00 PM; Partial IP: .113.8.138)
    Location: Tx
    Comment: When is this guy gonna drop another album already.... Cuz i'm ready for some rugged shit.... tired of all this BS out now.... and also collab w/ R. A. again......
    5 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 8/21/2011 9:53:00 PM; Partial IP:
    Location: Marbella, Spain
    Comment: DISC OF THE WEEK: RUGGED INTELLECT - "Renaissance Music: The Introduction" [Expertism Music Group] Reviewed by Scott C Rating: 9/10 Rugged Intellect has silenced all the talk and come through with a truly classic collection of music that Montrealers, and any head with an open ear, can get with. Already a formidable microphone presence, Rugged decided to pad his own talent with a few friends, all of whom he holds his own with. This is no-nonsense rap, wasting no time getting straight to some serious, quality music. "What It Is" is a great start, with Rugged serving some lyrical truth over a Frank Dukes stomp, a track that only begins to showcase his skills as an MC. Team-ups with R.A. the Rugged Man, Rock of Heltah Skeltah, Kool G Rap, and AG of DITC are almost like bonus cuts, while real beats and rhymes seal the deal from the get go.
    1 Star
    Name: (Posted: 2/3/2010 10:29:00 AM; Partial IP:
    Location: the record store
    Comment: This album is WACK. Only good part about it is the feature appearances. And the beats are alright. The rest sucks. Rock ripped it, G. Rap ripped it, Ras Kass ripped it, RI didn't. Simple as that. This kid sounds like a corny white hebrew with strep throat taking a dump. You're garbage. Its no surprise they were booing you at that rap festival back in '04. You suck. Quit.
    5 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 8/19/2009 12:15:00 PM; Partial IP: 85.234.225)
    Location: London
    Comment: Whats with these FAT reviews???? Sick album, no joke its really impressive. BoOF
    5 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 2/28/2008 3:03:00 PM; Partial IP: .31.180.42)
    Location: FL
    Comment: Even though all these magazines reviews are really impressive and true it is always better to hear an opinion from a real person who is simply listening for themselves, not writing to get paid. Rugged is one of the greatest MCs I have ever heard. That is quite a statement since I have been into this hip hop thing for the last 18 years. The originality of his lyrical delivery combined with the intensely intricate themes and ideas leave the competition in the dust. I can not think of an MC besides maybe Immortal Technique that I would put into a battle against Rugged. He seems to possess an endless list of multisyllabic rhyme formations inside his mind. If you truly know, Hip hop ain't close to dead. Its just hiding underneath the backside of the music industry monster
    5 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 2/9/2008 2:12:00 AM; Partial IP: 229.163.72)
    Location: Boston, MA
    Comment: RUGGED INTELLECT - RENAISSANCE MUSIC THE INTRODUCTION (EXPERTISM/TRAFFIC) If every rappers whose names starts with Yung, Young, Lil and Little pooled their lyrics, skills and brains, their collective efforts couldn't fuck with the weakest verse on Montreal rhyme-bomb Rugged Intellect's debut. And while no single project can rescue hip-hop from the intellectually retarded sect, Renaissance Music should at least stimulate traditionalists whose top 10 rap albums predate Carson Daly's first boner. Structured around Golden Aged beats from Domingo, Buckwild, Adam Sampler, and Frank Dukes, the disc is on a modern relic on the back end; in the front Rugged cracks open a pinata stuffed with topic tracks, emotional peaks and tantric verbals. When cruising solo on ringers such as "Say Goodbye" and "Break 'Em Off," he speed-bags the gut all the way through triumphant third-verse knockouts; and on posse cuts with R.A. the Rugged Man, Kool G Rap, Rock (Heltah Skeltah), AG (DITC), Sean Price and Ras Kass, homeboy sling enough rookie heat to pitch among all-stars. Most haters can't concede that rap needs new leaders and I'm sure that many of them will lambaste Renaissance Music for its presumptuous title and impressive guest roster. But if they're truly ready to embrace an MC who simultaneously embraces true-school ethics and futuristic mic dexterity, then they need not look past Rugged Intellect. (Chris Faraone)
    5 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 2/6/2008 11:04:00 PM; Partial IP: 29.163.234)
    Location: Montreal, CA
    Comment: DISC OF THE WEEK: RUGGED INTELLECT - "Renaissance Music: The Introduction" [Expertism Music Group] Reviewed by Scott C Rating: 9/10 Rugged Intellect has silenced all the talk and come through with a truly classic collection of music that Montrealers, and any head with an open ear, can get with. Already a formidable microphone presence, Rugged decided to pad his own talent with a few friends, all of whom he holds his own with. This is no-nonsense rap, wasting no time getting straight to some serious, quality music. "What It Is" is a great start, with Rugged serving some lyrical truth over a Frank Dukes stomp, a track that only begins to showcase his skills as an MC. Team-ups with R.A. the Rugged Man, Rock of Heltah Skeltah, Kool G Rap, and AG of DITC are almost like bonus cuts, while real beats and rhymes seal the deal from the get go.
    4 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 2/1/2008 11:22:00 PM; Partial IP: 53.233.218)
    Location: Detroit, MI
    Comment: For all those who have been clamoring for the arrival of a new brillant lyricist, with production reminiscent of that 90's era Boom Bap, rest assured, your prayers have been answered. With a rapid fire flow dangerously adjacent to the late great Big Pun, Canadian national Rugged Intellect has done more than just turn a few heads and open a few ears. He's made some fans in the hardest place to make fans, especially for an out of towner. The amazing rate at which Rugged can flow is mind blowing and truely his style is one that is dated, yet still when executed properly so effective and infectious. No better place is it on display than on tracks like "Gonna Move". While Domingo laces a pure heat rock (whose sample you will recognize) Rugged flips thru rhymes effortlessly and spits "rappin like Kane in his prime/ way before this game was raping us blind". Never has a white, Canadian been so down man....I mean before Rugged my mental picture of an average white Canadian dude was Alex Trebek. Rugged shatters all stereotypes by the sixth word in his first verse on the first track you hear from him. Never to be pigeonholed as just a white side show who raps fast, Rugged is well aware of his hip-hop history and frequently reminds us of that fact throughout the album as he references landmark perfromances and artists who molded the culture, far removed from the now mainstream bubble gum atmosphere hip-hop is currently embroiled in. Highlights of this album are definitely the Kool G Rap assisted "All Fair", which find the two rhyme slayers going back and forth at hyper speed. Make sure you also check for "Biters Block", which finds our hero Rugged Intellect doing battle with the incessant sharks aka "biters" in the game. And yes he's calling out names. It's a can't miss for those who love beef and defenders of real hip-hop alike. The Introduction is perfect for the hardcore and purist fan, all the tracks have pointed, precise and gritty production, the guest spots are incredible, and right on time, but make no mistake, Rugged holds shit down for self on this one, making it more than worth your while to check for this. -Dominick L. (PureHipHopBlog)
    4 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 2/1/2008 11:20:00 PM; Partial IP: 53.233.218)
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Comment: RUGGED INTELLECT - Renaissance Music : The Introduction Renaissance Music/ Expertism Music Group Reviewed on Monday, June 18, 2007 by Alex "Dweezy" Dwyer If there's anything hip-hop needs it's a rap Renaissance. Enter Rugged Intellect with his Machiavellian manifesto Renaissance Music. While the production from Adam Sampler and Domingo isn't outstanding, it combines adeptly with RI's jagged confab. Thank the maple leaf-land for birthing a lyrical brute that can actually craft a hook that deserves the bait, "If you ain't feeling my music then get a vibrator/fuck the violators, i'ma rip 'em/say goodbye hater." Brow raising guest spots of Ras Kass, Kool G Rap and Diggin' In The Crates proportions spice the tracklist when Rugged has racked his brain. Conceptually this remains less than breakthrough (besides the novelty on "Biter's Block") but the gully, firework finale-flow R.I. relentlessly flaunts is something to behold. Renaissance Music is far from a Florentine masterpiece, but even Dante himself wouldn't let RI burn upside down during hip hop's contemporary Inferno.
    4 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 1/31/2008 1:57:00 PM; Partial IP: 229.163.83)
    Location: Marin County, CA
    Comment: Artist: Rugged Intellect Album: Renaissance Music Record label: Expertism Music Group Rating: rating star rating star rating star half rating star Reviewer: MetroGnome So is it a turnoff or intriguing when an artist sounds, and feels, nearly identical to a couple select individuals before him? The answer is purely subjective, depending on who those influential few creative pioneers prior might be. In this case, I am referencing the legendary Kool G Rap, Big Pun and RA the Rugged Man; The second half of the equation comes in the form of Canadian emcee Rugged Intellect (no actual relation to the aforementioned "Rugged"). Rugged Intellect is making his impact felt on the hip hop scene with his appropriately labeled album, Renaissance Music: The Introduction, and his rapid, intense delivery. Luckily for Intellect, you'd be hard-pressed to find a rapper with his flow, sense of timing and cadence... despite G Rap, Pun and RA. Ironically, he addresses mimicry on "Biter's Block," spitting: "They say imitation is the best form of flattery/ If Pun was alive, would he flip and get mad at me?// Would he call me a biter and tell me to get my own style?/ Would he say my flow is off the hook like a phone dial?" Interesting predicament. Rugged Intellect spills out on a few social topics, taking shots at racism, governmental stronghold and general oppression on "Break 'Em Off." Don't be fooled though, as his hard-edge and braggadocios attitude can be replaced with humorous tales from time to time. Example: the Rugged's join forces on "Dirty Bitch Anthem," where RA and Intellect trade raw, hyper-sexualized stories of the most explicit degree, in a vein reminiscent of ODB and Ghostface. "All Fair" showcases another understudy combination as Kool G Rap blesses the joint and documents Intellect's heaviest inspiration. If album sales were dictated by the amount of information (words, bars, metaphors) in a record, Rugged Intellect would easily go platinum while artists like Hurricane Chris would be reduced to a blip off the radar. His ability to put poly-syllabic words together to form complex tongue-twisting rhymes is incredible; That said, it can be an exhausting trip after playing the record straight thru. There aren't many shortcomings on the album, fortunately. "By Any Means" is your average anti-authority, stand-up anthem... but a little boring and predictable. Likewise, "Real Recognize Real" has potential with blaring horns and a punchy bass line, but carries the weight of a lackadaisical tone. However, the "Introduction" and "Interlude" are smoothed-out instrumentals that serve only one purpose: to give you a break before another storm of severe spitfire. Kool G Rap, RA the Rugged Man, Sean Price & Rock (of Heltah Skeltah), Ruste Juxx, Ras Kass, and AG all see track time on Renaissance Music, making for a supreme lyrical showcase with classic star quality. If you are familiar with the guest artists on this record, chances are you will dig the record. It pairs venomous verbal style with classic, gritty sonics making Rugged Intellect a cat to check for!
    4 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 1/26/2008 1:08:00 AM; Partial IP: 59.125.196)
    Location: PA
    Comment: Rugged Intellect Album: Renaissance Music: The Introduction Label: Expertism Records Genre: hip-hop Release Date: 7/24/07 Posted: 08/29/2007 By: Jason Kordich It is nice to see work ethic and hip-hop do not have the oil/water relationship that most perceive. On Rugged Intellect's debut, Renaissance Music: The Introduction, RI illustrates the positive effects of a work ethic grounded in an appreciation for the genre. Produced by Buckwild (DITC), Memo (Molemen), Montreal's Apokalyptik, Domingo, and Executive Producer Adam Sampler, RI's bars are packed with both end and internal rhymes and enough clever wordplay to have you double checking the album's release date. With a style that conjures up memories of classic Kool G Rap (Listen to "All Fair" featuring Kool G Rap to see how similar the flow of these two MCs really is) and Big Pun. Having opened for Ice-T, Kool Herc, De La Soul, Afu Ra, Beatnuts, and Masta Ace just to name a few, RI has earned the respect of hip-hop's underground elite. In addition to Kool G Rap, the water proof MC, Ras Kass, offers a classic appearance on “Next Dose". As an MC who recognizes that most artists now are famous for being copies and that in “86 these cats would probably die", RI recognizes that genuine hip-hop isn't as appreciated as that which is duplicated. RI isn't an MC who lets the concepts of his albums get away from him, but he attacks the track with such force that you would swear he is battling the beat. Not a nostalgic throw back but a continuum of golden era hip-hop, RI's debut should be embraced by lovers of hip-hop who miss originality and authenticity. JIVE Magazine Rating: 4 out of 5
    4 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 1/24/2008 12:16:00 AM; Partial IP: 59.127.225)
    Location: Bristol, United Kingdom
    Comment: # Rugged Intellect # Renaissance Music: The Introduction () # Label: Expertism Records/Traffic Entertainment Group # Reviewed by: Sascha Boehm This new kid on the Hip Hop block is beginning to make some serious waves in an industry that doesn't usually take well to white, chubby Canadians. That fact alone shows the skills this young MC must have to be accepted and it can't be much longer before a major signs him up with Eminem sized dollar signs shining in their eyes, it's probably already happened! As it is, independent or not this is a solid and quality debut album with fresh beats and some smart guest appearances. The slick production is handled mainly by his mentor Domingo (KRS One, Masta Ace) and it all flows along in a classic Golden Age kind of way. Hailing from Montreal, RI has been compared to Rakim and even The Game but his multi-lingual descent and relentless rhyme schemes set him apart from anyone else, and that's always good in any genre, especially Hip Hop. His live pedigree speaks for itself from being a finalist at Madison Square Gardens' unsigned MC battle to opening for Ice-T, De La Soul and the original block DJ Kool Herc among many others. It's an incredible resume that is virtually unheard of for an underground artist. The album begins with a funked up scat and then into the obligatory ‘rise from the gutter' introduction on ‘It Is What It Is' with incessant rolling rhymes that don't let up. Rock of Heltah Skeltah joins him on ‘Guaranteed' with some rugged and rough interaction. Some good use of samples gives a cool old school feel until the chipmunk vocal on first single Biter's Block. Not sure why it's used so much these days. ‘DBA' features The Rugged Man whose holler comes on like Method Man and they both dedicate a nod of De La Soul's ‘Girls' to all those "Dirty bitches". The West Coast sound is in full effect and the colour of this guy's skin or nationality is irrelevant when spitting joints of this much class, even adding flutes to skipping beats on ‘Gonna Move' Underrated MC Kool G Rap guests on the successful lead single ‘All Fair' and they relentlessly attack the vocabulary between them whilst giving nods to classics from past and present. There's an eastern flavour running through the gangster rap of ‘By Any Means' giving it originality from your usual street brag. The impressive musical side of things continues but RI's vocals do tend to be quite monotonous on the second half of the album. His lyrics still hit home but the delivery doesn't carry enough variation for me. Because of this the guest spots are welcome and on ‘Next Dose', Ras Kass's biblical references are the heart of it. For an album of 18 tracks to still keep me interested by the end is a testament to this artist's talent. ‘Truth and Consequences' is his message to a father that wasn't there for him and it carries a sincere message. The disc is rounded off by two bonus remixes, one of which ‘Say Goodbye' features Sean Price and Solomon Childs of Wu Tang adding beef to disco strings and plodding beats. An established finish to an enjoyable long player by someone destined for big things in the millionaires game that is Hip Hop. Stay up playas!!
    5 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 1/20/2008 10:57:00 PM; Partial IP: 29.162.215)
    Location: Delaware
    Comment: Rugged Intellect: Renaissance Music: The Introduction [Expertism Music Group/Traffic Entertainment] For 2007, it's in vogue to praise the ‘90s Hip-Hop movement, but cater to the radio with albums. A Canadian MC with a deep appreciation for that purebred Hip-Hop of yesteryear, Rugged Intellect's Renaissance Music: The Introduction (Expertism) lives up to its name, and may kick through walls and borders like Toddy Tee's batterram. Through an impeccable collage of sample-based beats, Rugged Intellect makes perfect sense on an album that belongs on a shelf next to O.C.'s Jewelz and Group Home's Livin' Proof. "Gonna Move" is very telling of Rugged's gift. Overtop a soulful guitar beat from Domingo, the MC holds court with a faster flow, showcasing his careful timing and knowledge of the culture. A simple chorus doesn't permit reaching for radio play, but instead follows the album's theme perfectly. “All Fair" takes it up a notch. Alongside the obvious influence Kool G Rap, Rugged Intellect's lyricism channels both Giancana and Big Pun, making himself the third generation of puncturing wordplay. In addition to G Rap, Rugged plays to his partners—not mimicking, but rather meshing nicely with Rockness Monstah, R.A. the Rugged Man and Ras Kass, on the respective tracks. Unlike another rapper clutching a ‘90s sound to hide lyrical flaws, Rugged Intellect takes it back with the beats. Domingo and Buckwild are primary sources for that authentic sound. Both come with heavy rock-inspired soul (“Life I Love" and “Gonna Move") which will educate younger listeners to the inspiration behind Just Blaze's popularized sound. While both continue to get major placements, all contributions appear to be gems held onto for an MC who would cherish them. Equally, Canadian producer Adam Sampler carries equal weight, with his own funky concoctions. Unafraid of stripping sacred records, Sampler, even in his intro and interlude, makes the album come to live like a 1970s film score. The only out-of-place production is the playful and peppy “Like That," which is made right by Rugged paying tribute to Hip-Hop pioneers. Renaissance Music doesn't put its concept on front street like Kaze's Spirit of '94 or Blueprint's 1988. However, for anybody who has never heard of Rugged Intellect, Renaissance Music's near-immaculate production may attract you to meet a talented, non-conformist MC who spits raspy, hard-nosed raps about the pursuit of success, the glory years of rap, and why Hip-Hop may soon be smuggling realness over the border from Canada.
    4 Stars
    Name: (Posted: 1/20/2008 1:42:00 PM; Partial IP: 29.162.215)
    Location: Las Vegas
    Comment: Plugging the words "Rugged" and "Intellect" into the Rap Name Database would probably bring up a collection of grimy, tri-state area, camouflage and Timbaland boot wearing rappers that had their heyday in the 1990's by making hardcore hip-hop. Well, Rugged Intellect is white and is from Montreal, Canada so he doesn't exactly fit the mold of what you would expect from a name like that - at least on paper. His album is brings back that ol' New York rap just fine - even if it is from the land of maple leaves and free health care. There's more validity to this project than one would expect, however. On paper, the idea of a white guy from Canada trying to resurrect the Bronx D.I.T.C. sounds like it would be a disaster on wax, but Rugged Intellect actually delivers. First, and most importantly, this cat can rhyme. He's good. In this day and age, it seems like cats get over simply by buying production from hot producers, but take their beats away and their acapellas are garbage. Not so for Rugged Intelllect. Never does he hold his tongue - not literally, as his Pun-inspired flow slithers over every inch of the track; and figuratively, as he isn't afraid to call out whoever he feels is a wack artist. Production on the album is handled by a team of legendary producers, who help Rugged achieve that classic 90's sound, with guys like Domingo, Buckwild, Memo of the Molemen, and others lending beats. "What It Is" starts things off, as R.I. introduces himself to the public for the first time, attacking the microphone with his relentless flow, immediately clueing the listener in that this is not your average emcee. "Say Goodbye" follows, with a Domingo produced track, as Rugged Intellect reminisces about coming up in the rap game. Again on "Gonna Move", Domingo provides another beat tailor-made for Rugged's flow, proving a solid chemistry for the two artists. "Biter's Block" is the first real topical song on the album, where Rugged touches upon a topic that needs to be addressed in hip-hop: just how much blatant copying and stealing there is these days. Not afraid to name names, the hook says it all "This is the biter's block / a place where amateur rappers start to mimic their favorites, just to get a slice of props / in '86 these cats would probably die / but everybody want to bite since 50 trying to be Ja." Rugged taps a series of seasoned vets to share mic time with, and holding his own next to a handful of rap legends. "Guaranteed" featuring Rock of Heltah Skeltah plays like a classic BCC track, while "DBA" is a nasty sex track tapping another Rugged Man - R.A. - as they sink to new levels of perversity. Arguably the album's best track is the Kool G. Rap featured "All Fair", as the two trade breathless flows over a ridiculous beat, sure to make Kanye West jealous. One fault with this album is its length. 17 tracks, there's plenty of room for error, and it does have a few low points. Regardless, these days the rap industry is stale, and we're lucky to find an album with 10 good songs, so something like this is a refreshing change. Another thing that Rugged could stand to work on are his hooks. They aren't as strong as his rhymes, and at times they feel forced. Such is the case in "Say Goodbye", which seems to shoe-horn a dis to the Violator camp, which is repeated over and over again, losing its shock value pretty quickly. So, if this is only The Introduction for Rugged Intellect, he's got plenty of room for improvement and perhaps a long career ahead of him. - Pizzo
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